As we approach the year 2001, one of the critical issues facing the international community is the level and scope of protection to be afforded technology and technology based products. Technology and property laws share a unique relationship. Intellectual property laws serve as a potential source for technology protection. Technology if subject to protection is generally protectable under a country's patent or copyright for compact disc recordings. In addition to the forms of intellectual property, many nations also provide protection for the "rights neighboring" to traditional intellectual property rights. The absence of a uniform definition for traditional forms of intellectual property that might be used to protect technology makes the development of a uniform international protection standard problematic. Despite the potential barriers posed by lack of an international consensus on the nature of property rights to be protected, the international community has consistently tried to develop international standards for such forms since the late Nineteenth Century. The technological advances which are driving toward the development of agreed standards for the international protection of technology will continue. The challenge is for the international communitys to continue to develop consensus-based approaches which acknowledge and accept cultural diversity. Uniformity may be possible where nations work toward standards which balance the legitimate concerns of both owners and users.
Doris E. Long, The Protection of Information Technology in a Culturally Diverse Marketplace, 15 J. Marshall J. Computer & Info. Law 129 (1996)